Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Shooting The Chefs...

A bit more Paris Breakfasts ancient history, since you loved the Bocuse story...I got involved with The James Beard House because I fell in love with fancy plating while at a French spa, Les Pres D'Eugenie les Bains...I took a tour visiting New York's top restaurant kitchens when I returned.The leader suggested I volunteer at the Beard House so I could learn to plate on the spot.

This chef is 'plating' = creating beautiful plates for the diners and he's making sure every plate is perfect and delectable.That's how I joined the Beard parsley chopping brigade.

Chef's backs The chefs perform in the kitchen like theater. They dance around like Baryshnikov, working in unison and I loved sketching them. But plating is HARD WORK, and first chance I got, I switched to shooting the chefs.

Watching the chefs move around is like being at a life drawing class... I was dying to draw them! As soon as I got home I'd start sketching and next day I'd shoot off my sketches via fax into the chef's kitchens.

I became the Toulouse Lautrec of the kitchen. I met every chef in chefdom and I got to draw them too!

But painting those chefs caused me such weltschmerz /world-pain. Finally a week before the portrait show opened I figured it out. Painted multi-drawings on a toned ground a bit like old master drawings.

I loved painting chefs from the back especially...so much character revealed from the back.
I almost forgot! Part of the hard work of photographing the chefs dancing in the kitchen, was shooting these gorgeous plates. AND eating them. The top dish is a roasted peach filled with berries and ice cream. The bottom dish looks like fish + chips, but is really Rattlesnake + chips. All part of the job of shooting the chefs.
More on my brilliant careers to come.


Anonymous said...

You amaze me.
Is there any other secrets up your sleeves?
Any magazine covers?

somepinkflowers said...

my favorite
is the red-aproned dish-washer...
the bits of bright color,
the black & white tile wall.


the story from the back
tells it all, i think.

did you turn it into a poster?


Blame It on Paris said...

This is fantastic. I'm with Corey, you amaze me.

It's all part of that Exuberance of yours! None of this would have happened without your energy and willingness to take risks and invest yourself. I love these stories.

Anonymous said...

Your Talent is showing. ;-) I agree with everyone else... these are fun and it really shows your debth as an artist. And I loved the dish washer in color.
Cris in OR

Anonymous said...

You have an ability to transport us right into the picture. I love it.

Merisi said...

One of those posts of yours one can't savour enough in only one sitting (I don't mean on this sofa!.
For now, I know which paintings are my favorites: the multi-drawings on a toned ground a bit like old master drawings.

Anonymous said...

Carol, I think that drawing of the dishwasher is just fantastic.
I bet you could get a deal with a home decorating company or perhaps Hallmark or a poster company to have it printed and sold in every Wal-Mart in the world. It's got great color, and the topic is so humorous it will appeal to everyone that has a kitchen!
You go girl!

Helene said...

Reminds me of the old ads one can find on cards and posters. I would not be surprised to see your drawings and watercolors illustrateing an upcoming cookbook. So much talent!

roseroomnz.com said...

They are fabulous! And what luck getting to eat the food as well, aside from the rattlesnake that is!

Gillian Young said...

I love these chef drawings! They are very Toulouse Lautrec, with a touch of old Vogue fashion drawings! Absolutely beautiful.

Asia Jacyna Divakaran said...

I agree with Merisi, those drawings on toned paper are fabulous. Very dynamic with the simple lines and the strokes of white. Your line is vey T-Lautrec in these.
Can't imagine how much fun it must have been drawing these chefs!

Merisi said...

I too like the dishwasher, but I am also surprised that nowadays there are plates being washed by hand like this! In my brother's restaurant those plates end up in big automatic dishwashing machine and the are spic&span in ten minutes.
Do you know why there's still handwashing going on? Considering that electricity also costs a whole lot less in the USA.
Happy Fourth of July, miss the Mall and the Beach Boys concert there.

Lisa Johnson said...

I love these drawings of the chefs! You've done such interesting and beautiful work!

Jeanne said...


Anonymous said...

You're so fun and talented Carol.
You amaze me too!!

I can't wait to see Ratatouille! Thanks for the review and the sneak peek.

Jann said...

What an intersting time this must have been~ you are one talented gal! I love the work!

A Brush with Color said...

I always find one of the most entertaining questions to ask people I'm getting to know is "what is the wackiest job you've ever had?" It invariably brings on a good story. I have a few of my own, but yours are great, CArol.

Nikon said...

Wow! This is great!